Page 5, 21st April 1944

21st April 1944
Page 5
Page 5, 21st April 1944 — Thus armed, on December 7 I pressed Mr. Lunn again

Report an error

Noticed an error on this page?
If you've noticed an error in this article please click here to report it.


Organisations: University of Toronto
Locations: Rome


Related articles

Letters To The Editor

Page 2 from 8th August 1941

Dr. Coulton And Mr. Lunn

Page 5 from 28th July 1939

Dr. Coulton And Arnold Lunn

Page 8 from 18th August 1939

S1r,—it Is Just As I Expected. Mr. Lunn, Now That

Page 2 from 7th September 1945

Luther And Card. Gasquet

Page 2 from 13th July 1945

Thus armed, on December 7 I pressed Mr. Lunn again

and again. Sometimes he was just silent. Twice, however, he fell back upon this device of refusing any answer until I myself should have answered some other question—which, in each case, I did, yet still elicited no confession. At last I was driven to the brutal method of making photggraphie facsimiles from the two disputed texts. Thus at last, after all those months of " dogged persistence," he was alriven to the tacit admission that he had never before compared the two with his own eyes! Moreover, the excuses he now gave were his gravest condemnation. He had taken the odious charge from my violent adversary, Mr. Oldmeadow; and, even then, with random carelessness. He had misread a hastilypencilled marginal note, which, again, was apparently modified by a query. During all the ' 36 weeks of wrangling over this false charge Mr. Lunn had at least once been in communication with his neighbour, Mr. Oldmeadow, yet he had never troubled to write or phone for confirmation!

This, then, is the ." deputy " whose peremptory condition is that we should repeat this sort of thing before taking any notice of Fr. Heenan !k If any reader finds my summary incredible, let him call at your office and verify the facts upon these crucial pages 203-4. He will see how freely, even in those days, Mr. Lunn could exploit that manoeuvre of " I will not answer you until . . ."


That is why, in 1935, 1 judged him as a man of straw for this particular kind of work. I had, in fact, hinted this pretty plainly in the days when I knew him mainly as an anti-Roman journalist (letter to Mgr. R. A. Knox, C. and C., p. 149). But that was eleven years ago; and now your own deliberate choice, together with that of Notre Dame and the " seal " of his

orthodoxy " at Rome itself, puts him plainly among those whom we must accept as competent exponents of Roman Catholic doctrine and Church history.

Therefore it only remains that he should accept Fr. Heenan's thesis, not in mockery but in soberness and truth; the coast will then be clear. Or, if his admirable persistence cannot bend to so natural a course, there are still those Jesuit Fathers of 114, Mount Street upon whom (as you say on p. 22 of Was It Worth It, Wells?) Mr. Wells ought to call some day and enjoy their food and drink and learn from that undefiled source the truth about my his torical peccadilloes. You I have an embarrassing range of choice; and I must beg you to exercise this at once. For uhless I hear reasonably soon I am resolved now to take the whole job upon my own shoulders and write upon Fr. Heenan's thesis, printing in an Appendix this present gorrespondence. In these letters, at lealt, I shall have shown my real desire that the openminded public should possess, within the same covers, the most opposite pleas upon a question which will become very important in the coming days of reconstruction,


One last word. In C. and C., as elsewhere, 1 have expressed my sympathy with the work of your Church, " heartily agreeing " with the thesis that it " has been an immense power for good " (italics mine; pp. 4, II, 17). In that, as in some other equally important matters, I. do not agree with Mr. Wells. But ilk reserves which I felt even then have been strengthened in these later years, with their practical experience of Roman Catholic literary traditions and methods. I should now —or let me say--I shall. in my own lonely furrow if Mr. Lunn still refuses and you can find me no serious corm; spondent—contrast a good Roman Catholic with a good Quaker. They have, of course, much in common ; and we must do all we can in reconstruction days to emphasise this wide extent of common ground, even as Jacques Maritain does with that sort of Super-Quaker group wherein his " True Humanism " sees so much hope. But, on those points where the Roman Catholic differs from the Quaker he seems to me almost always wrong, and therefore already an anti-social force, to all extent which is likely to grow in the future as it has grown in the past.

G. G. COULTON. University of Toronto.

blog comments powered by Disqus